Who would have thought that lyrics of a popular song could have held such insight?

Many years ago I attended an Overeaters Anonymous retreat where a recording of Bette Midler’s song The Rose was used as a meditation. The Rose is also featured as a on one of Richard Simmons’ Sweatin’ To The Oldies videos.

Why The Rose? What is it’s connection to food addiction/exercise avoidance?

“Some Say LOVE It Is A HUNGER…”One line from that song speaks volumes to me: “Some say love, it is a hunger an endless aching need…” Ain’t that the truth!

“What the world needs now” (and our “addict within” can use daily) is to feel loved. A Co-Dependents Anonymous affirmation Feeding The Hungry Heartaddresses this very basic of human needs with the reminder that: “I am lovable, loving and loved.”

So easy to affirm, yet so much harder for me to feel!

What happens when I don’t “feel the love”? What happens when I feel rejection (a/k/a the “withdrawal of love”)? I grab for the food! I attempt to fill my “inner hunger” with something that might taste delicious — but still can’t fill the hole that I want -desperately need – it to fill.

Yet when I use food to be the “lover of my soul” my self-esteem is ultimately decreased and what self-love I have disappears. What a painful paradox: trying to (over)fill the hole in my soul leaves me only more empty.

Ultimately, I believe only God can fill the emptiness (which includes the feeling/belief that deep down we are “UNlovable”) that fills our soul. I also believe that God created me (and all of us) to be “social creatures” who also need the love and acceptance of others, to some degree, in order to be truly happy.

What in the wide, wide world of sports makes me bring up the “hunger for love” topic? Probably because I’ve recently (again) come to the realization that I “don’t handle rejection” all that well. Then again, WHO DOES “handle it well”? While rejection doesn’t have to totally devistate me, when it happens I nonetheless feel a great deal of pain.

I’ve been working on healing from rejection — two wounds, or occasions, in particular. One rejection took place in 1995 and the other around 1981/1982. I can usually “make sense” of “why” someone rejects me. But when it is out-of-the-blue, when it (from my point of view) appears to be totally UNprovoked, then I don’t handle it terribly well.

Maybe the best I can do is to “feel my feelings” — including the massive amount of pain that rejection causes. “Stuffing it down” with excess amounts of food certainly hasn’t healed it. I’m hoping that writing about it here and in my 12 Step work and talking it through with my therapist can also help bring about healing.

As an addict who’s drug of choice is excess food and exercise avoidance, today I’m making a choice to “love myself enough” to eat healthy and exercise appropriately so that maybe some of the emotional pain will subside.